9/01/2008

Review : F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate

The Story

Don't ask me what is the story in F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate – because I won't be able to make a real exposure . Really . All I know is that I am the officer of the second F.E.A.R. team composed by four men and we have to go in the complex of a large company and do things . From here , a long series of missions of the type "go there ", "escort that", "find that","report to superior" , begins . When getting close to the last quarter of the game , the reason why you are sent there is revealed , in some degree. The important thing is that all the action is closely related ( temporarily wise and action wise) to the happenings in first F.E.A.R. .

It's clear that the story isn't the primary element of the game and that even the game levels are pretty much copied from the first F.E.A.R. . In fact the story , 3-4 extra weapons and a new level design is pretty much everything that Perseus Mandate delivers . It's a pretty lame excuse for a game that was clearly developed just to milk an extra dollar from the gamers pockets with as little invested money as possible .

Even with all these cons , I still played F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate until the end and I enjoyed it .

Why?

First of all I find fabulous the way that F.E.A.R. Extraction point / Perseus Mandate manage to be a good office horror , because most of the time you will be fighting in offices , surrounded by cubicles , flower pots , desktop computers and trash beans . What can be more horrific than working in an office environment ? Add some enemies and short incursions in the world of beyond and there you go ! The perfect horror game .

I think that eventually all comes to sound effects . Try walking the offices of a multinational company with headphones running F.E.A.R. background sound . You will soon have an unexpected feeling of anxiety . Add some bodies , dripping blood and light effects to the mix and see what happens . Anyway , that is not something that we weren't already accustomed with .

With what we aren't accustomed with are the opponents with a very evolved AI capable of tacking good tactical decisions and of dealing considerable damage .

In fact , isn't this the reason why F.E.A.R. is so known ? The fact that enemies act great as an individual or as a team . Capable of calling for reinforcements , using walls , desks , and many other things for the purpose of protecting themselves and even creating ambushes in the labyrinth of offices .

Many of your opponents have different abilities . Like some are invisible , some can crawl on the walls and some have very tough armor or they just have the ability to fly . Their eyes glow , in the dark or they create strange distortions in the air . There is one particular enemy that can use slow motion for short periods of time ( this is really spectacular) .

Easy with the slow motion on the steps !

As I already said , Perseus Mandate is a game with very bad level art . Walls , cubicles , windows , garages and lobbies are pretty much all that you will see in the game . Sometimes it looks like the developers really tried to design the levels with some minor round spots , which I think it is a plus by comparison with the first game .

The boys from Time Gate Studios continued with the trend they started when they launched Extraction Point and I am happy to see that they even improved it . The areas are a bit larger now , there are fewer places where you can hide or from where you can defend with ease you're position . In fact , there were many times when I thought that I defeated an enemy team and suddenly my brains were smashed by an enemy that was smart enough to go around the battle zone and find a door that was leading him somewhere behind me .

In the first F.E.A.R. it was easy for anyone to solve a conflict with the slo-mo button . In Perseus Mandate they added surprises during the battle , surprises that have the 'gift' to set us on the look-out every time we decide to use the magic button .

In the end , even though Perseus Mandate doesn't have better story , more detailed levels or better sound , it is still a game that once started will keep you terrorised in front of the computer for many hours .

Rating 7.6


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